Court Sentences Detroit Man For Trading Bitcoin Without Proper License

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A federal court has sentenced a Detroit man to a year and a day in prison and three years of supervised release for trading bitcoin without a money service license, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine. The man, Sal Mansy, 41, has been sentenced along with his company, TV TOYZ LLC. Halsey Frank, a U.S Attorney, announced. Mansy pleaded guilty to the charges in May of this year.

 

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The court ordered the defendants to forfeit close to $118,000 worth of bitcoin and cash.

The case was prosecuted in Maine since Mansy’s company had advertised in Maine and he engaged in wire-payment transactions with Maine customers, U.S. Attorney Michael Conley told Mainebiz.com.

$2.4 Million In Bitcoin Traded

Mansy purchased and sold around $2.4 million worth of bitcoin between August 2013 and June 2015, according to court records. Mansy funneled his transactions through TV TOYZ’s bank account. Mansy owned and operated TV TOYZ, a limited liability corporation.

Mansy failed to register his money service business with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, in violation of federal law. Mansy violated Title 18 of the U.S. Code, section 1960, which outlaws transferring money as a business for others without obtaining the proper licenses.

Mansy knew he needed to register with FinCEN, the court records stated.

Agents seized a total of $118,134.57 worth of bitcoin and cash while searching Mansy’s Detroit home in June 2015 following a year-long investigation.

The Homeland Security Investigation of the Portland, Me. and Detroit, Mich. offices of the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement conducted the investigation, along with the Saco Police Department.

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Feds Crack Down

An October 2015 Congressional Research Service report said Congress is concerned about bitcoin’s use in illegal money transfers, and about its effect on the ability of the Federal Reserve to meet its objectives (of stable prices, maximum employment, and financial stability). The report also expressed concerns about protecting consumers and investors who might use bitcoin.

 

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  • ICO Report

    I absolutely abhor having to short bitcoin. As a long-term believer in bitcoin, it goes very much against my beliefs to short what I consider to be the best and most undervalued financial asset in the world. Moreover, when the price is constantly making new all-time highs, there are no metrics, indicators or tools that can be used to reliably estimate resistance levels or reversal points. Calling the top is basically a guessing game. Therefore I usually avoid shorting bitcoin at all cost, except for under very rare and extreme circumstances.

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      Shorting The Great Bitcoin Bull
      As I have reasoned in my previous posts on this topic, the phenomenal bull run bitcoin has had since $6,500 may have been mostly driven by the idea of bitcoin as an emerging asset class, where retail investors have been presented with the awesome opportunity of getting in just before Wall Street does. While analysis tells me that the CME (and even more so Cboe) bitcoin futures comprises a net positive for the price of bitcoin, I don’t believe the full effects of it will be immediately visible on launch day (10 Dec for Cboe, 18 Dec for CME). Listing the instrument on an exchange is only the first step; there are other hurdles that will need to be crossed before the instruments can be traded. For instance, it requires the clearing firms of the clearinghouse to clear the instruments for its clients and brokerages to offer them to end-investors. For the institutional investors, there is usually some decision making process and risk analysis that needs to be done before they can invest. With the Cboe announcing their launch date only a week ago, I find it highly unlikely that they will dominate the global bitcoin market on the first week of trading. What should have a much larger short-term impact on the price is the sudden disappearance of retail buyers jumping on the idea of getting-in before Wall Street.

      Now, at $10,000, this wouldn’t have been enough for me to enter a sizeable short position on the greatest financial asset of all time. However, if you add another $6,000+ in less than a week and the fact that we’re going into a weekend (when no new fiat can hit the exchanges) to the mix, the desire to at least decrease my exposure to bitcoin temporarily becomes too intense to pass up. Observing the recent extreme volatility, it is very clear to me that the market is overheated and could collapse for even lesser reasons than the ones I’ve detailed. However, selling a chunk of bitcoin at a spot exchange is not a very attractive option due to taxation and custodial risk. The other option is entering a leveraged short position, which allows you to decrease your exposure without leaving nearly as much funds on an exchange. As such, I’ve decided to short the Great Bitcoin Bull.

      Shorting on Bitmex comes with a price limit at which you get forcibly liquidated, so the timing is really delicate. It is then not very helpful that the price is extremely volatile. As I mentioned earlier, calling the top with precision is mostly guesswork, yet still very important. Perhaps that can explain why so many traders seek aid by looking for special clues in the patterns of the graphs to help with this crucial task–the art known as technical analysis.

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